PETALING JAYA: Lee Chong Wei hopes to be in “seventh heaven” at the Indonesian Open in Jakarta next week.
He has won the Indonesian Open six times – the same as former Indonesian greats Ardy Wiranata and Taufik Hidayat.
The world No. 1 won it in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016 and is the only non-Indonesian to have won the title more than once.
The 34-year-old Chong Wei has the chance to claim the title for a record seventh time when he competes in the tournament from June 12-18.
National singles coach Hendrawan is confident Chong Wei can do it.
“There’s fire in Chong Wei’s belly. He wants to win it a record seventh time and to overtake both Ardy and Taufik,” said Hendrawan.
“Although I’m Indonesian, I’ll definitely be proud if Chong Wei makes it happen.
“For some reason, no other foreign shuttler has won the title more than once ... except Chong Wei.
“This is probably one of his biggest Superseries events ... he wants to win it and to show that he still has a lot to offer.”
Hendrawan, however, is worried that Chong Wei’s quest may be derailed by the tough draw.
“Chong Wei’s in good condition, but he’s got a tough draw,” said Hendrawan.
Top seed Chong Wei faces Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto in the first round. Another Indonesian – Anthony Ginting – awaits after that.
In the quarter-finals, he’s likely to meet reigning Olympic gold medallist Chen Long of China.
Apart from the tough opponents, Chong Wei will also need to adapt to a new environment as the tournament, which has been held at the famous Istora Senayan since 1993, has been moved to the Jakarta Convention Centre this time.
Independent shuttlers Chong Wei Feng and Zulfadli Zulkiffli will start from the qualifying rounds.